Have you ever run into technological terms where you don't fully understand their meaning? Have you felt this way when hearing your technology is approaching "end-of-life" or that a product has an upcoming "end-of-support date"?
We'd like to give you a little insight as to what end-of-support dates are, what end-of-life means, as well as what your action items should be when your IT team tells you that one of these is approaching. This way, you will know what your engineer is talking about, and you will have peace of mind when navigating upcoming changes.
So, what does end-of-support actually mean? It's just how it sounds. This is put into place when a company decides to stop providing support on a specific product or service. Oftentimes this occurs when newer software or hardware is released, and support for the older version is no longer provided.
Think about it this way, whenever your technology breaks, freezes, or simply isn't working correctly, you pick up the phone and call a support line. Imagine not being able to call a support line for one of your products. If something breaks and you're in that position, it becomes a larger problem as it may not have an easy fix. This is why updating your software and hardware, and paying attention to end-of-support dates is so important.
End-of-life dates are slightly different, as this is the date when the product goes end-of-sale. Utilizing end-of-life hardware can be especially risky, as businesses could experience compromised data security, decreased productivity, higher maintenance costs, problems with scalability, as well as non-compliance.
According to the State of IT Study conducted by Spiceworks, end-of-life is the top driver of new technological purchases as it was reported 57% of purchases were motivated by end-of-life. In fact, 62% of small businesses are driven to purchase new technology due to end-of-life dates that are fast approaching.
So, what should you do when you hear end-of-support or end-of-life dates that apply to your business are approaching? It's important to set a meeting with your main IT contacts to cover all of your bases. Take time to discuss all of your current products, what you should keep, what isn't necessary, and which of your hardware or software is approaching an end-of-support or end-of-life date. Even if the date is a year away, they tend to sneak up on you, so it's always good to start the discussion in order to be prepared ahead of time.
From there, you will have a clear picture that will help you to budget and prioritize for the upcoming year. You will have the opportunity to really plan ahead and allocate your IT budget dollars in the right places.
For free presentation slides from the 2018 NE Tech Summit titled, "End-of-Life: The Technology Graveyard", click below. This presentation will provide you with tools to create an end-of-life management plan, and will outline upcoming and recent end-of-life dates you should be aware of.